Sheffield FridayNightRide

we have nothing to lose but our chains

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March 8th, 2011 Posted 7:00 pm

SFNR  on Quarry Hill, Redmires; The Sheffield Pals Sep '14

“To me a bicycle is a machine of magic … taking me on to the ways of satisfied happiness; giving to me the good friendship I enjoy with others, and to share with me the delights and ecstasies of the outdoors. It gives to me the pleasures of mingling the past with the present … always discovering … always learning. Above all it gives to me also, memories to cherish and store inwardly, as I wheel my ways on joyous days … such a day has been today.” Albert Winstanley 1917-2012

Planning and riding a SFNR makes me think and these thoughts can sometimes be profound. I re-read Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle recently. I found my perfect motto or aphorism for SFNR
“Peculiar travel suggestions are dancing lessons from God” Book of Bokonon

The rides for 2015-2016 season is now planned (as far as anything is with SFNR). They are on the Future Sheffield FNR page, but take note, these plans may change so get on the email list ( or like the fb page. SFNR is also on twitter as @sheffieldfnr. Usually anouncements only.

Sheffield FridayNightRide is hibernating for a bit.
Sheffield FridayNightRide
Friday March 11 2016
The Women’s Movement in Sheffield
6.30 pm Start Gates to City Museum, Western Bank for the 7 mile route
7.15 pm ride pick up at Cathedral Forecourt, Church St for the 4 mile route

“Bicycling has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance.” -Susan B. Anthony (1896) US Suffragist
Theme: This SFNR celebrates SheFest and International Women’s Day (Wednesday 8 March 2016) by cycling to locations in Sheffield associated with the struggle for women’s emancipation. The main focus is sites to do with the struggle for Votes for Women but it also goes past other relevant sites e.g. some of the first women’s clinics in Sheffield.
Maps: I have put the route and places of interest with some explanation of what happened or what was at the site on a Google map. Click on a point of interest and some text will come up telling you about it

More details on Next Sheffield FNR.
Please bring LIGHTS, LOCK(S) and dress appropriately for the weather
In the 20 years before WWI the hottest domestic political issue was Votes for Women. Reasoned and reasonable arguments were felt to be ineffective and the campaign and dissent moved from petitions, rallies and meetings to also encompass disruption, rioting, vandalism and fire-bombings of post boxes. I think the epicentre for this movement in Yorkshire and NE Derbyshire was Sheffield where the youngest Pankhurst, Adela, organised the suffragette movement in the region, made Sheffield an epicentre for the struggle in Yorkshire and the NE, and led by personal example.
The invention and mass production of bicycles preceded the car by about 25 years. So for 25 years pedestrians, horses (and carts), and bicycles shared the roads. The bicycle was affordable for many and it allowed people to travel much further than they were used to on their own or in groups, and to places of their own choice that may well have been inaccessible before. Travelling ‘under one’s own steam’ became a leisure activity as well as a utilitarian activity.
The bike was liberating for men and especially women. Many (mainly male) critics warned of the health dangers of cycling for women (e.g. exercise that was too strenuous and fast for the gentler sex, the hazards of a machine that women would find difficult to control) which also reflected a concern about young men and women cycling off to places together where they could not be seen or supervised and all would be overexcited by the physical exercise and rubbing of the bike saddle – ooh, er, missus!
As side notes it is worth noting that the use of the bicycle (not the introduction of the car) led to the asphalting of roads and cycling caused some changes in fashion, e.g. bloomers were invented so women could cycle more freely and retain their modesty.
What the bike did do for both men and women was literally extend physical and geographical horizons and create the mind-set that anyone could travel individually and autonomously – and paradoxically that is an essential psychological and cultural mind-set for owning and using a car!
So on your bikes for this one!
“A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle” Irina Dunn (1970), Australian educator, journalist and politician (men may dress in fish suits for this ride)
SheFest social media contacts at (get signed up)
Google “SheFest Sheffield” for appeals for contributions to the event – let’s make it really good

Cycle Maintenance classes throughout the year
The ever-popular ReCycleBikes cycle maintenance classes are now revised and bookable here
If you know what you’re doing and want a stand to work on, in the dry with good tools and expert advice on hand then you can do that in the bike kitchen

I think Edinburgh Bike Coop, Bike ReHab and Evans also offer bike maintenance classes so contact them for details

Learn how to use the

Private Eye No. 1326 Lance Armstrong Puncture Repair outfit

Sheffield Cycle Jumble – May and October, book early if you want to have a table; it gets busy and is a great event to go to
SHF cycle jumble Oct 2015
Mark’s contact details are on the poster for the jumble if you want to book a table for a jumble.

More Rides
I get ride info sent to me from time to time and if you want to get out on your bikes more then …
don’t forget to look on these sites: local CTC site; the Sheffield Clarion Cycling Club;, the Steel City Riders; Ride Sheffield; Sheffield Shopper Society; No Balls Biking; Sheffield Women’s Cycling – see side bar Other Sheffield Rides for all these.

Should SFNR have an anthem? – this is a great modern Sheffield tune about Sheffielders and we can la la la as we pedal

The Times Cities fit for cycling Click on this logo, check out what it says, sign up if you want to. I know its News International, obviously linked to News Corp who sponsor all that cycling through SKY; but I think this is genuinely felt – shock that a colleague ordinarily commuting to work can be seriously injured through poor vehicle design and driver behaviour.

Cheer yourself up before the next ride – take a dekko at this

Fraternal/Sororal Rides: There used to be a London FridayNightRide (where I was inducted into the experience) sadly no more. If any body knows of another FNR like this one – there are other FNRs which cycle to the coast and all that kind of stuff but we are not into distance or endurance or power (I think we are in it for the joy of social urban riding and being a tourist in your own backyard) then I could maybe see if any other FNR wants to do a fraternal/sororal ride sometime in Sheffield and vice-versa.

“FridayNightRiders of the World Unite!”


“We have nothing to lose but our chains!”

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